Luminescent single-walled carbon nanotube-sensitized europium nanoprobes for cellular imaging
Pramod K Avti, Balaji Sitharaman
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Abstract: Lanthanoid-based optical probes with excitation wavelengths in the ultra-violet (UV) range (300–325 nm) have been widely developed as imaging probes. Efficient cellular imaging requires that lanthanoid optical probes be excited at visible wavelengths, to avoid UV damage to cells. The efficacy of europium-catalyzed single-walled carbon nanotubes (Eu-SWCNTs), as visible nanoprobes for cellular imaging, is reported in this study. Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of breast cancer cells (SK-BR-3 and MCF-7) and normal cells (NIH 3T3), treated with Eu-SWCNT at 0.2 µg/mL concentration, showed bright red luminescence after excitation at 365 nm and 458 nm wavelengths. Cell viability analysis showed no cytotoxic effects after the incubation of cells with Eu-SWCNTs at this concentration. Eu-SWCNT uptake is via the endocytosis mechanism. Labeling efficiency, defined as the percentage of incubated cells that uptake Eu-SWCNT, was 95%–100% for all cell types. The average cellular uptake concentration was 6.68 ng Eu per cell. Intracellular localization was further corroborated by transmission electron microscopy and Raman microscopy. The results indicate that Eu-SWCNT shows potential as a novel cellular imaging probe, wherein SWCNT sensitizes Eu3+ ions to allow excitation at visible wavelengths, and stable time-resolved red emission. The ability to functionalize biomolecules on the exterior surface of Eu-SWCNT makes it an excellent candidate for targeted cellular imaging.
Keywords: cellular imaging, confocal microscopy, europium, single-walled carbon nanotubes, luminescence, visible excitation
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]